ARTIST: Justin Timberlake
YEAR RELEASED: 2002
CHART ACTION: #2 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Like I Love You (#11 US, #2 UK), Cry Me a River (#3 US, #2 UK), Rock Your Body (#5 US, #2 UK), Senorita (#27 US, #13 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Still on My Brain
LINEUP: Justin Timberlake, with Pharrell, Bubba Sparxx, Timbaland, Vanessa Marquez, and a lot of session folks.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First solo album shows that Timberlake was more than a pretty face in a boy band.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Hooking up with Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Timbaland, among others, Justin Timberlake broke out of the perception that he was just a pretty face with a high voice, and started to establish his own solo persona on this debut album.
The strength of the album is his vocals, and his commitment to sounding like an old school soul / R&B vocalist in a modern context. Songs like “Rock Your Body” could have filled dance floors in the 70’s and well as today.
The ballads get a bit much, and there’s a bit of album bloat, but this is a decent debut for Timberlake and sets him up for entertainment domination.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Yes, “Cry Me a River” is about Britney
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: In Australia and Japan
GRADE: B+: The start of the Justin Timberlake empire, as it were.